My name is Cameron Randall, and I am a senior Entrepreneurship major from Austin, Texas. I will be graduating from Baylor University in May 2020. During the Fall 2019 semester, I had the chance to study abroad at John Cabot University.
While studying abroad at JCU, I noticed within the first couple weeks of classes that it could be particularly difficult for study abroad students to find a decent quantity of high-quality school materials close to campus. Because I major in Entrepreneurship back at my home university, I figured it may be a great opportunity to start a small business and create an impact on JCU.
I thought back to a successful speaker I once saw at Baylor who had started his first business in college using fountain drink vending machines. This sparked an idea in my head: a vending machine could be an efficient way to distribute school supplies to students. I reached out to my International Entrepreneurship professor, Silvia Pulino, who is also the head of JCU’s Institute for Entrepreneurship, for information on how I might be able to implement a service like this on campus. I quickly learned that, because JCU is a non-profit university, it would be unable to make money from the sales of school supplies. However, I still felt that it would be a worthwhile investment of my time to help out my fellow and future students.
Professor Pulino was incredibly helpful and put me in contact with the president of the student-led JCU Business Club as well as formulated a list of people for me to contact that might help make my idea a reality. Thanks to the support of Peter Ogden, President of the Business Club, I was able to formulate a business plan. I presented it to the Director of Finance, Stefano Curcuruto, and Manager of Finance and Operations Office, Francesca Monteporzio. They were both extremely welcoming and encouraging of the idea. They asked me some questions regarding the business plan that I had formulated and the financial projections that I had generated, and then they provided me with some very constructive and honest feedback. Thanks to their support, President Franco Pavoncello approved the idea. It was an incredibly rewarding sensation to know that I was able to leave a mark on this incredible university.
Thinking back on my experiences at John Cabot University, it’s amazing what the University was able to provide me over the course of only one semester. I had the opportunity to travel, study, and live in a different culture and also create a small business venture at my school. I am thankful to have left a lasting impact on the place that had a powerful and lasting impact on me. My idea would never have come to fruition if it was not for the incredible network of people at JCU. I strongly encourage both degree-seeking and study aboard students to think entrepreneurially and take notice of opportunities that present themselves.
JCU is the perfect place to grow and cultivate new ideas through the resources that they provide to their students. I was lucky to have that chance when I chose to leave home and to study abroad. I feel joy thinking that a notepad from my vending machine will have a brilliant idea written on it.
Baylor University – Study Abroad Fall 2019
Hometown: Austin, Texas